Cox Cable, with more than 1 million customers in Orange County, San Diego and Las Vegas, agreed to terms Sunday with Time Warner Cable for distribution of the new TWC SportsNet and Deportes, the two companies announced Sunday night during the Lakers-Detroit Pistons game at Staples Center.
That locks in all the cable companies for the channel that has exclusive regional TV rights to the Lakers, leaving just the two major dish providers — DirecTV and Dish – as the holdouts.
Cox is the third-largest distributor in Southern California (1.2 million), behind Time Warner (2.3 million) and DirecTV (1.7 million). Dish has about 850,000 subscribers.
Since the TWC SportsNet and Deportes launch on Oct. 1, Charter Cable (360,000 subs), Verizon FiOS (500,000), AT&T U-Verse (450,000) did not come aboard until the last week. There are also about 700,000 who have no cable or dish service, but rely on free channels via an antenna.
Cox and DirecTV had both been public about their resistance to pay a reported $3.95 per subscriber per month for the two channels. DirecTV has also resisted adding the new Pac-12 Network, which has resulted in fans of USC and UCLA football missing a chance to see their teams play on certain weekends. The Trojans’ next game Saturday at the Coliseum against Arizona State will be on the Pac-12 Network.